Dies Irae

Dies Irae (The Day of Wrath)

The Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, Judgment Day, or The Day of the Lord in Christian theology, is the final and eternal judgment by God of all nations. It will take place after the resurrection of the dead and the Second Coming of Christ (Revelation 20:12–15). The doctrine, iconographic depiction and musical compositions of the “Last Judgment” are drawn from many passages from the apocalyptic sections of the Bible, but most notably from Jesus’ teaching of the strait gate in the Gospel of Matthew and also found in the Gospel of Luke. Dies Irae (The Day of Wrath)[…]

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Song of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Magnificat

The Magnificat – Canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Magnificat is a canticle, also known as the Song of Mary, the Canticle of Mary and, in the Byzantine tradition, the Ode of the Theotokos. The text of the canticle is taken directly from the Gospel of Luke (1:46–55) where it is spoken by Mary upon the occasion of her Visitation to her cousin Elizabeth. An explanation of the Canticle Magnificat is given below from the “Devout instructions on the Epistles and Gospels for the Sundays and holydays” by Leonard Goffiné (1648-1719). In this hymn Mary with joy praises God, the Lord, that He has regarded her humility, and[…]

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Improperia “Popule meus, quid feci tibi?”

Improperia “Popule meus, quid feci tibi?”

The Improperia are the reproaches which in the liturgy of the Office of Good Friday the Saviour is made to utter against the Jews, who, in requital for all the Divine favours and particularly for the delivery from the bondage of Egypt and safe conduct into the Promised Land, inflicted on Him the ignominies of the Passion and a cruel death. It is during the Adoration of the Cross that these touching remonstrances are rendered by the choir. In all they consist of three distinct parts. Of these the third — composed of the antiphon “Crucem tuam adoramus”, the first[…]

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Sacris sollemniis Latin Hymn by St Thomas Aquinas

Sacris solemniis

“Sacris solemniis” is one of the five beautiful hymns St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) composed in honor of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament at specific request of Pope Urban IV (1261-1264) when the Pope first established the Feast of Corpus Christi in 1264. Today Sacris Solemniis is used as a hymn for the Office of the Readings for Corpus Christi. The last two stanzas are the text for the hymn Panis Angelicus. “Sacris solemniis” Latin and English Lyrics Sacris solemniisiuncta sint gaudia,et ex praecordiissonent praeconia;recedant vetera,nova sint omnia,corda, voces, et opera. At this our solemn feastlet holy joys abound,and from the[…]

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Litany of Saints

Litaniae Sanctorum – The Litany of the Saints

A The Litany of the Saints (Litaniae Sanctorum) is a traditional chant in the Catholic Church that praises God and his saints. Its first recorded use was in 590 when Pope St. Gregory prescribed its usage for a public procession of thanksgiving. The Litany is a call to remember those who have gone before us and to ask their intercession. The form given below is a long standing traditional form of the Litany Saints published in the Roman Ritual, Latin-English edition in 1952. A partial indulgence is attached to the Litany of the Saints. Litaniae Sanctorum – The Litany of[…]

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Mater Dolorosa

Stabat Mater Dolorosa

Stabat Mater Dolorosa is considered one of the seven greatest Latin hymns of all time.  It is based upon the prophecy of Simeon that a sword was to pierce the heart of Our Lord’s mother, Mary (Lk2:35). The hymn title means “‘Stood the mother, full of grief’.”  In Latin, the hymn consists of twenty couplets which describe the Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin at the Cross.  The Stabat Mater’s popularity is reflected by its use in the popular devotion of the Stations of the Cross. The message of the Stabat Mater focuses on the spiritual and emotional bond which unites Mary and all[…]

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Song of Zechariah

Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel (Canticle of Zachary)

The Benedictus is the Song of Zechariah, or Canticle of Zachary, given in the Gospel of Luke 1:68-79, is one of the three canticles in the opening chapters of this Gospel, the other two being the “Magnificat” and the “Nunc dimittis”. The Benedictus was the song of thanksgiving uttered by Zechariah who was filled with the Holy Spirit, on the occasion of the birth of his son, John the Baptist. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Benedictus is part of The Divine Office, that takes place in the early morning hours. The canticle received its name from its first words in[…]

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Veni, Creator Spiritus

“Veni Creator Spiritus” is one of the most widely used hymns in the Church, attributed to Rabanus Maurus (776-856). It is chanted at Vespers, Pentecost, Dedication of a Church, Confirmation, and Holy Orders and whenever the Holy Ghost is solemnly invoked. A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite it. A plenary indulgence is granted if it is recited on January 1st or on the feast of Pentecost. Veni, Creator Spiritus, mentes tuorum visita, imple superna gratia quae tu creasti pectora. O Come, Creator Spirit, come; The souls which are Thine own invade; And with supernal grace inflame[…]

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Gregorian Requiem Chants of the Requiem Mass

Libera me, Domine, de morte æterna

Líbera me (“Deliver me”) is a Roman Catholic responsory that is sung in the Office of the Dead and at the absolution of the dead, a service of prayers for the dead said beside the coffin immediately after the Requiem Mass and before burial. The text of Libera me asks God to have mercy upon the deceased person at the Last Judgment. Libera me is begun by a cantor, who sings the versicles alone, and the responses are sung by the choir. The text is written in the first person singular, “Deliver me, O Lord, from eternal death on that[…]

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Ave Regina Caelorum - Hail, Queen of Heaven!

Ave Regina Cælorum – Hail, Queen of Heaven!

Herman Contractus (1013 – 1054) – an 11th-century Benedictine monk and scholar – has been traditionally credited with the composition of several popular Marian antiphons, including Ave Regina Cælorum. The hymn praises Our Lady, acknowledging her Queenship over heaven and angels, and extolling her unparalleled beauty and favor with God. It also acknowledges her as the mediator between men and Our Lord Jesus Christ, as it asks her to pray for us to Our Lord. “Dignare me laudare te, Virgo sacrata! Da mihi virtutem contra hostes tuos.” “Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O sacred Virgin. Give me strength against[…]

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The Angelus Chant

The Angelus – Prayer for Peace and Tranquility

The Angelus originated during the time of Crusades as a prayer for peace and tranquillity for their country. To be said or sung at 6:00 a.m., Noon, and 6:00 p.m.  Indulgenced by Pope Benedict XIII, Sept 14, 1724. Listen to “The Angelus prayer from the “Day in the Cloister” – a chant CD available from the Virgo Sacrata shop. Audio courtesy of the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary. The Angelus Prayer in Latin and English Latin V/. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae; R/. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto. Ave Maria,gratia plena,Dominus tecum.Benedicta tu in mulieribus,et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.Sancta Maria,Mater Dei,ora[…]

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Regina Cæli or Regina Cœli Queen of Heaven

♕ Regina Cæli: Easter Anthem and Prayer

“There is a venerable tradition connected with this joyous anthem.  It is related that a fearful pestilence raged in Rome, during one of the Easters of the pontificate of St. Gregory the Great.  In order to propitiate the anger of God, the holy Pope prescribed a public procession of both people and clergy, in which was to be carried the portrait of our blessed Lady painted by St. Luke.  The procession was advancing in the direction of St. Peter’s; and as the holy picture, followed by the Pontiff, was carried along, the atmosphere became pure and free from pestilence.  Having[…]

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